Every year I hope for a cold Christmas. Living in Florida for so long, the heat gets to me. I live for the few and far between cold fronts that make it our way. This year I got my wish. We had a cold Christmas and a week long cold front that I had to take advantage of. Kelsey and I took Lainey to the town square to walk around and take pictures. I brought along my Rolleiflex Original for a separate review, as well as my Nikon F2 loaded with a roll of Kodak Tri-X Pan 400 film that expired in 1971.
the History of Kodak Tri-X Pan Film
According to Kodak’s website, Tri-X was released in 35mm and 120 format in 1954 as EASTMAN TRI-X Panchromatic Negative film, 5233 with an ISO of 200. 400 speed Tri-X came out in the 1960’s. The 400TX film we know today didn’t come about until 2007 and is a re-engineered version of the old film that now has a finer grain and less silver.
Once we got to the town square in Tradition to walk around, we realized it happened to be a Jewish celebration of Shabbat, and there was a booming party going on in the square. The band kept asking over the speaker if there were any photographers in the crowd. I wanted to run over and volunteer but was too chicken. I am still working on my faith in my own ability, but that topic is for another day.
We stayed on the outskirts of the party where I could take pictures. It was late afternoon so the sun was strong and the contrast high, which I liked for this film. It expired more than 50 years ago, so I decided to over-expose the film to make up for any fogging that may have happened over time. I set my Nikon F2 to ISO 80 and I am glad that I did. The film did have some heavy fogging, especially on the ends of the roll.
I processed it in Kodak HC110 dilution B for 6 minutes. I probably should have over exposed it even more given the age of the film, but the sun was going down and I didn’t have a tripod. Either way, I really like the results I got, and more importantly, I had a good time with my family.
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I think this is one of my favorite photos of the roll. There was something comical about this big poodle that made me think of a Elliott Erwitt scene.
A follower sent me this roll of film a while back. It took me a while to get a chance to finally shoot the roll properly, and now I can’t find the guy who sent it to me to show him my results. His Instagram handle was @ephemeralMental when he sent it. If you know him or are him please let me know in the comments. I would love to thank him.
I had a really great time finally getting out and taking pictures again. It has been rough getting used to being a parent as well as not being able to express myself as often as I used to through this medium. I have so many things I want to accomplish, but not enough time to do it. Hopefully you will stick around to see more.
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Until next time, stay motivated and keep shooting.
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10 thoughts on “Kodak Tri-X Pan 400 Film – Expired 1971”
Ahhh, the memories… Tri-X and Plus-X were basically my photographic life from 1976 to the winter of 1980. (I lived in Lake Placid, NY, and I switched to Ektachrome during the Olympics, largely because I could get it developed free at the time.) Your work is way better than mine was, though. Beautiful!
Thanks so much mark. I’d love to see your work from the Olympics
I always find B&W film to be a point of aggravation and excitement when using it, never knowing what the results are going to be until I realized my problem was I was not looking at contrast. Once I got that idea, it became easier. You do a great job with it and these pictures are so nice, especially since the film is so old!
Thank you! Yea with bnw film the contrast can be influenced by so many different factors like development time and each film has a different amount to begin with.
It’s like 1971 all over again. Very nice. Thanks.
Thank you Merlin
B&W film seems to hold up quite well when expired. These shots turned out great! Looks like a fun family outing as well.
Thank you Lance! Yea it really depends which film it is but B&W does hold up better than color. Way better in my experience
These look really good. I can see a tiny amount of evidence in these images of the film’s age, but if you didn’t tell me the film was this old I would have assumed slight underexposure or underdevelopment.
Thanks Jim. It seemed to hold up pretty well. If I had a tripod and shot it even more overexposed, I wonder if it would’ve made a difference?